The Bahamas Government says the chain of archipelago remains “a safe and welcoming destination” as it responded to a travel alert by the United States that warned its nationals to be aware of the crime situation when visiting the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.
Last week, the US embassy here advised American citizens to be “aware that 18 murders have occurred in Nassau since the beginning of 2024.
“Murders have occurred at all hours including in broad daylight on the streets. Retaliatory gang violence has been the primary motive in 2024 murders,” it said, urging Americans to “exercise extreme caution in the eastern part of New Providence Island” and use caution when walking or driving at night.
But in a statement, the Office of the Prime Minister said the government is “alert, attentive, and proactive” to ensure that the country “remains a safe and welcoming destination”.
It said last year, the country welcomed over nine million visitors, “a significant milestone for our nation.
“We were proud to share our crystal-clear waters, beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, warm people, and family-friendly adventures with so many visitors.
“The rating of The Bahamas has not changed; we remain a level two alongside most tourism destinations. The incidents described in the January 2024 US Embassy crime alert do not reflect general safety in The Bahamas, a country of 16 tourism destinations, and many more islands,” the government statement said.
It said the government is implementing “a robust and innovative crime reduction and prevention strategy” and that this “comprehensive approach is informed by the latest research and successful international models, focusing on five key pillars: prevention, detection, prosecution, punishment, and rehabilitation.
“Our law enforcement agencies are taking rigorous steps to maintain our well-earned reputation, including an enhanced police presence and additional police resources (including facial recognition CCTV surveillance technology) and training.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for firearm possession and a dedicated Magistrate to handle firearm offences. The safety and security of everyone is of paramount importance to us and we are confident that The Bahamas will remain safe and welcoming for millions of visitors to continue to enjoy the magic and beauty of our beautiful islands,” the statement added.